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7 Steps for Thanksgiving Gratitude Every Day

Rather than focus on Thanksgiving gratitude, make it an every day habit.  Of course, Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on what we are grateful for, however, practice Thanksgiving gratitude every day.

Sometimes it can be challenging to feel gratitude.  We are busy juggling responsibilities in our over-full days so an attitude of gratitude can be the victim of over-busy.  Having Thanksgiving gratitude every day allows you to appreciate who and what you have in your life and prevents you taking anyone or anything for granted.  In fact, I saw an interview with a woman that lost everything in the recent Superstorm Sandy.  The interviewer was focusing on the loss and everything was gone.  She told him that those things could be replaced but that she was grateful that her and her family were safe, unharmed and had each other, and they were already looking ahead to re-building their lives.  She is the essence of every cloud has a silver lining.  It doesn’t have to take a horrible disaster for us to feel grateful nor should it.

You don’t have to wait until New Year’s to make a resolution to live Thanksgiving gratitude each day.  You can start it today!!

Attitude of Thanksgiving Gratitude Every Day:

1.  Small stuff:  Appreciate the small stuff in your life.  The small stuff adds up to be the most meaningful in your life.  Make it a goal every day to acknowledge three small things that have happened that you are grateful for.  The person that let you get in front of them on a bumper to bumper ride home from work, a co-worker that helped you meet a deadline, your child or grandchild, or anyone (!!)  saying “I love you.”  Pay attention to your day and acknowledge the small and simple stuff that warms your heart with Thanksgiving gratitude.  The wonder of every day life is alive and well, you just need to take notice.

2.  Live as if your time is limited:  Too often, unfortunately, we appreciate something when it is in jeopardy or threatened.  We can take our health for granted until we are sick or if your health is threatened.  We have regrets that we weren’t more appreciative of a loved one after they pass away.  Don’t wait to be grateful and express that gratitude.  The first time I heard Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” I was driving home.  I had to pull over because I was so deeply moved by the lyrics.  Not to be morbid but live in the same manner you would if your time was limited.  Feel Thanksgiving gratitude right this very minute and every day to come.  Be thankful for every day and what fills your days.   Appreciate today  and don’t postpone your gratitude.

3.  Gratitude list:  Make a list of 50 (75, 100, etc.) of things you have in your life for which you are thankful.   Make it personal to you and add to it regularly.

4.  Gratitude journal:  Write down three to five new things each day that you are grateful for.  Beware, it will be easy at first but as you continue this practice, you’ll find that you need to pay attention and increase your awareness each day to list in your gratitude journal.

5.  Pause and notice:   Take a break….pause to enjoy your day – this very moment.  Live with Thanksgiving gratitude as you appreciate the day’s happenings.

6.  Give compassion:  There’s always someone that could use a hand up.  Of course, your friends, family and strangers.  Have Thanksgiving gratitude every day by giving care and compassion to others.

7.  Practice random acts of kindness:  This is a fun one.  Do something for someone that will never know!!  Put extra coins in a parking meter that is about to expire, pay the toll fee for the car behind you, knit a scarf for your neighbor and leave it on their front door handle anonymously, be extra nice to the grocery store cashier or restaurant server.  When you practice random acts of kindness you give to someone else but you get it back many times over.

Don’t limit your gratitude to only Thanksgiving.  When you live Thanksgiving gratitude every day, you will have a much deeper, more meaningful and joy-filled life.  Gratitude is a gift that just keeps on giving to the recipient AND the giver – you!

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